Brisbane, 4 October 2013: Sebastian Di Mauro was last night named the winner of the $10,000 Clayton Utz LAUNCH Art Award for 2013, with his wall-based sculpture Pro Constantinus.
This year's Award judge, Queensland Centre for Photography director Maurice Ortega, praised the work for its "innovative use of materials", "modernity" and "yet it's clear appreciation of history by thematically linking the work to Constantine as the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, a clear supporter of religious tolerance and a success as an administrator".
"The celebration of these attributes by such a unique work at this critical point in time made this work the clear winner for 2013," said Mr Ortega, who presented Sebastian with his Award at a cocktail function at Clayton Utz's Brisbane offices in Riparian Plaza. Two artists also received special commendation for their work: Greer Townshend for her charcoal drawing Mods and Rockers, and Mark Standing for his oil painting, Rattling the Bones.
Addressing guests at the Award function, Mr Ortega said: "Let me acknowledge and thank Clayton Utz for supporting such a unique venture; our industry is grateful for the support given to local artists and the increasing recognition brought by this award. I believe the showcase in this award expresses unequivocally the quality and depth of talent of Queensland art."
The winning work and that of the other 39 finalists for this year's Award will be on display at Clayton Utz over the next 12 months.
Now in its sixth year, the Clayton Utz LAUNCH Art Award is open to Queensland based artists or artists with a strong connection to Queensland, working in any medium.
Since its launch, the Clayton Utz LAUNCH Art Award has helped both emerging and established artists to showcase their talents and further their careers, including photographic and performance artist Henri van Noordenburg (2012 winner), Kate Bernauer (2011), Haruka Sawa (2010), Gemma Smith (2009), Dane Lovett (2008) and Martin Smith (also in 2008).
To view the work of this year's and past finalists, visit www.claytonutzartaward.com.au. Clayton Utz would like to acknowledge and thank Lethbridge Gallery (www.brettlethbridge.com) for managing this year's Award, for the third year running.